1959 Wood Lyman 16.5 outboard runabout power boat

wood power boat 1959 Lyman 16.5 foot outboard model

This power boat is shown being restored in Maine. The photo is from Androscoggin Wooden Boat Works (207) 685-9805. It shows the nice work that they do, particularly on Lyman Boats. This classic outboard runabout is said to be a boat for sale and at a very attractive price. Give them a telephone call if this is something that you need for this upcoming summer boating adventure season.

This outboard Lyman boat seems to have been updated with a painted finish rather than a varnished, but not stained, boat hull interior. The seats, deck and other parts show, to me, the correct, as built, finishes. Lyman mahogany filler stain with varnish over that would be the proper choice. Lyman was also known for its use of ribbon striped (sometimes called tiger striped) mahogany veneered marine-grade plywood in its decks. Check for that feature on this boat. Most restorers use a different style of mahogany plywood if they replace the deck on a Lyman runabout.

The 16.5 foot boat was a popular boat model and it was in production from 1957-1960. In 1959 they made 366 of these. It is a 16’ 7” long runabout with a beam of 70”. It weighs 560 lbs. and could take up to a 60 Hp outboard. That is Hp that is rated at the power head, not rated at the prop shaft as outboards are rated today. Use an older motor or drop back to a maximum rating of about 54 Hp. She goes real well with a 35 Hp, by the way.

Lymans are clinker built or a lapstrake construction style of planking. Each plank edge overlaps the other and are clinched nailed to the ribs and screwed to the frames such that an edge is shown at each plank its full length along the hull side that helps soften the ride, and they are flexible boats that can twist over the waves somewhat to give a better ride than a classic boat person would expect. Ride a Lyman to experience this for yourself. I know of several prior owners of carvel, hard chine classic wood boats that marvel at the ride that they get in their Lyman compared to what they are used to.

By the way, get a Lyman model a little older than this model year and you will see a dimpled finish in the planking on the outside of the hull. Lyman used a duck billed clinch nail for better holding strength and sometime (in the mid-50s?) began to completely fair over both the screws and the duck billed nails for a smooth exterior finish.

3 Responses to “1959 Wood Lyman 16.5 outboard runabout power boat”

  • How how is your 16.5 wooden boat ?
    How much will the boat be if it’s refinished ?


  • I did not write about my 16.5 wooden Lyman lapstrake boat. I wrote about another. I do not sell boats, I, seabuddy, writes about them.

  • Greg McClintock:

    Our family still has my grandfather’s 1959 Lyman 16 1/2 footer, exactly as shown in the photo. It has passed from grandfather to mother, to me back in the 70’s, to younger brother, to older brother, and is still owned by that brother and his three sons. Refinished many times, it is still a stout boat, and still has it’s original, running, 35 Evinrude. It might be heavy by some standards and underpowered compared to modern trend, but it carried the whole family and pulled a skier to boot. My brothers and I learned to ski behind the Lyman, and we shared many a day fishing with our grandfather on Lake Erie, and on several lakes in Michigan. I remember this boat all the way back to the day my grandfather got it in 1959. A great boat.

Leave a Reply